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New Jersey Art Museum Displays Cultural Masterpieces in Middlesex County

Featuring over 60,000 pieces, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum is a must-see stop while looking for cultural adventures unique to Central New Jersey. Great for students and adults alike, the museum features exhibits that will spark curiosity. The museum is located at Rutgers University and will provide a tremendous learning experience.

History of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum

The Zimmerli Art Museum was founded in 1966. It was first known as the Rutgers University Art Gallery. The gallery was renamed the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in 1983. This was due to the growth of the collections contained in the gallery. Ralph and Alan Voorhees provided major funding for the construction of the museum, which is named after their mother.

Key Facts About the Museum

The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum consists of 70,000 square feet of space and features world-class artifacts. The age of the items found in the museum range from ancient times to the current day. The most hallowed items are 19th-century French art; Russian and Soviet art; and American and European prints, books, and photos.

American Art

There are over 16,500 American art pieces. Included in the pieces are paintings, sculptures, and paper arts dating back to the late 18th century. You can learn about early American life through these stunning portraits and still photographs.

Many of the American works also teach the amazing stories of social and political concerns of the time. Among the most notable pieces are those done by female artists. This is especially important in New Brunswick, NJ, and surrounding areas since Rutgers has been a pioneer in women’s education.

Among the American paintings is the pastel portrait of George Washington by James Sharples. Additionally, an interesting painting of Washington’s Revolutionary War mapmaker, Simeon de Witt, done by Ezra Ames, is featured in the museum. Simeon de Witt was a graduate of Rutgers. Landscape artists are also featured in the museum, highlighting what the nation looked like in the early years.

The American sculptures also teach valuable lessons for the public. Some of the sculptures are large while others are done on a much smaller scale. Prominent figures to the Central New Jersey area are depicted in several of the beautiful, detailed sculptures.

European Art

The exquisite European art found at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum ranges from Renaissance-era to present-day works. There are almost 10,000 pieces for your viewing pleasure. The largest amount of work comes from 19th-century prints, papers, and rare books. Japonisme is featured at the museum. This European work was inspired by Japanese art and was done by late 19th-century European artists.

The European paintings found in this New Jersey art museum contain heavy amounts of Italian Renaissance art as well as artwork from France and the Netherlands. The two most renowned paintings housed at the museum are Portuguese Still-Life from 1914 by Sonia Delaunay and Profile painted by Jean Arp in 1955.

Popular European sculptures include the only complete set of Celebrities of the Juste Milieu found in the United States. These breathtaking sculptures capture the look of many important government leaders from the early 1800s. Interestingly, the museum also contains a few ancient Greek and Roman sculptures.

Russian and Soviet Art

This large collection contains over 22,000 pieces of art. Some of the objects date back to the 14th century. Much of the art comes from a 1990 donation from George Riabov. In addition, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum has the largest collection of Soviet nonconformist art in the world. You will find these pieces to be filled with emotion and beauty.

Russian Orthodox paintings in the museum are made from wood, stone, and metal. One such piece is a carved stone from the 14th century. The piece represents the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God.

Most of the Russian and Soviet nonconformist pieces are works on paper that detail changes in the landscape of the area. Other popular prints reveal the deep concerns of the Russians and even things related to Soviet-era theater and opera life.

Experience Art in New Brunswick, NJ, and Surrounding Areas

Anytime you are in Middlesex County, visit the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum on the campus of Rutgers University. For more information, contact us at the Central Jersey Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division, Travel & Tourism.

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